Jamie's Ministry of Food: Quasi-experimental evaluation of immediate and sustained impacts of a cooking skills program in Australia

Anna Flego, Jessica Herbert, Elizabeth Waters, Lisa Gibbs, Boyd Swinburn, John Reynolds, Marj Moodie

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the immediate and sustained effectiveness of the first Jamie's Ministry of Food Program in Australia on individuals' cooking confidence and positive cooking/eating behaviours. Methods: A quasi- experimental repeated measures design was used incorporating a wait-list control group. A questionnaire was developed and administered at baseline (T1), immediately post program (T2) and 6 months post completion (T3) for participants allocated to the intervention group, while wait -list controls completed it 10 weeks prior to program commencement (T1) and just before program commencement (T2). The questionnaire measured: participants' confidence to cook, the frequency of cooking from basic ingredients, and consumption of vegetables, vegetables with the main meal, fruit, ready-made meals and takeaway. Analysis used a linear mixed model approach for repeated measures using all available data to determine mean differences within and between groups over time. Subjects: All adult participants (≥18 years) who registered and subsequently participated in the program in Ipswich, Queensland, between late November 2011-December 2013, were invited to participate. Results: In the intervention group: 694 completed T1, 383 completed T1 and T2 and 214 completed T1, T2 and T3 assessments. In the wait-list group: 237 completed T1 and 149 completed T1 and T2 assessments. Statistically significant increases within the intervention group (P<0.001) and significant group∗time interaction effects (P<0.001) were found in all cooking confidence measures between T1 and T2 as well as cooking from basic ingredients, frequency of eating vegetables with the main meal and daily vegetable intake (0.52 serves/day increase). Statistically significant increases at T2 were sustained at 6 months post program in the intervention group. Conclusions: Jamie's Ministry of Food Program, Australia improved individuals' cooking confidence and cooking/eating behaviours contributing to a healthier diet and is a promising community-based strategy to influence diet quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere114673
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

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